Expect more casualties, warns Rumsfeld
LONDON: Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, has paid tribute to the British soldiers who died in an attack in Iraq and given warning that there could be more casualties to come.
“Their deaths are a sober reminder that while major combat in Iraq and Afghanistan is over coalition forces remain engaged in a difficult and dangerous war, the global war on terror,” he said. “That war will not be over any time soon.”
General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the attacks on British forces and recent strikes on US soldiers in Iraq could be part of a co-ordinated resistance.
“We know that there are Ba’ath party members that don’t want this country to go to a democratic form of government,” he said. “They are still out there, there are other paramilitaries probably that have joined them. How organised is yet to be determined. That’s one of the things we’ve got intelligence looking at.”
In the wake of yesterday’s attack, Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, has ordered an urgent review of the numbers of troops in Iraq. Up to 5,000 more could be sent out if required.
Mr Hoon said: “First and foremost, it is important that we find out precisely what happened in this appalling incident, we find out who was responsible, and what implications that might have for our deployments elsewhere.”
An Iraqi policeman in Al Majar Al-Kabir has blamed local people for the attacks, saying that they were angry at civilian deaths during a recent demonstration. —LDT